We had always planned to extend the TOCS game system to other time periods beyond WWII, such as the Civil War, Napoleonic Era, Franco-Prussian War, Boer War, and WWI. While the TOCS WWII rules cover the time frame from 1935 to 1955, our first attempt to expand this was to port the TOCS WWII rules to WWI. This actually was easier than had been anticipated, partly due to the fact that the TOCS WWII rules are written in a modular way that they only needed to be adjusted to fit the WWI time period. In fact the rewrite resulted in some sections being written better than the original, so some back-porting will occur to make the sections similar. One area that still remains to figure out and complete are the National Characteristics of all advisories in the WWI time frame.
National Characteristics are the rules that differentiate nations during that time period, and highlight their national capabilities and their limitations. There was much innovation and change that occurred in technologies and to tactical warfare between 1914 and 1918, which requires the national characteristics to track. Therefore game modules will offer a different gaming experience depending on what nation players choose, and what time during the war the module will model.
It is expected that the TOCS system, could be ported to support almost any time period, and at any scale. The system is extensive and adaptable. Once it is fully data-driven, much of the national characteristics will be derived from the module metadata files, leaving players to focus on the big picture and less about the underlying mechanics that the game system automation provides. Let’s face it, players should never have to struggle with how to play the game or interpret rules, especially if it has an automation engine doing that for you. This is one of the primary goals at BMG, to provide a playing experience that is fun and unencumbered by the details that the system can handle, that the Command Officer’s staff would handle. Focus on the mission, not the game mechanics.
Now that the WWI time period has been mapped out, where will TOCs go next? Most likely the 1870 to 1914 time period as this has many different opportunities such as the Franco-Prussian War, Zulu War, Boxer Rebellion, and Boer War to name a few. Imagine playing fast moving commando cavalry units on the open veldt in a double blind game system, where observation and reconnaissance are key. Fast and furious skirmishes and battles against an elusive enemy. This future of gaming could be very exciting.